30/4/11 2 Samuel 11,12; Psalm 51; Matthew 23
S: 2 Samuel 8:2a David also conquered the land of Moab. He made the people lie down on the ground in a row, and he measured them off in groups with a length of rope. He measured off two groups to be executed for every one group to be spared. 1 Chronicles 22:8 “But the Lord said to me, ‘You have killed many men in the battles you have fought. And since you have shed so much blood in my sight, you will not be the one to build a Temple to honour my name.” 2 Samuel 11:1-12:24 (David’s murder of Uriah after his adultery with Bathsheba.)
O: David did some things in war that we would consider war crimes or atrocities today. However, by the standards of his day, even this killing of two thirds of the fighting men prisoners of war of Moab was milder than what was normally practiced – very often, they would kill all the men and take the women and children as slaves, thus wiping out the family names of that entire community. So what David did was “milder” in that he left one third of the family lines alive.
So God did not hold David accountable for those “war crimes”. There was a consequence – since God knows what is ultimately good and right to do – that God didn’t allow David to build the Temple because of the excessive blood on his hands – but God never reprimanded David for those killings that David did not know was wrong.
The situation with Bathsheba and Uriah was completely different – God reprimanded David severely for that, and even after his repentance, there were serious consequences. One man’s murder, as opposed to thousands of prisoners of war executed, and it was so severe? Because David knew full well that it was wrong for him to murder Uriah and steal his wife, but David didn’t know that it was wrong to kill prisoners of war.
A: We don’t have to worry so much about what we might be doing wrong that we don’t know about, but we are responsible for what we do know.
So we must obey God in the things we do know. In time, He may teach us new things as He brings us towards perfection – but we don’t have to worry ahead of time for what we don’t know.
P: Father, remind me of what happened to David with Uriah and Bathsheba when I am tempted to sin. I must obey You in the things You have already taught me. I confess my sins to You and ask for Your forgiveness. Thank You for Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for my sins. In Jesus’ name, Amen.